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India PM says China wants foothold in South Asia

NEW DELHI, Sept 7 (Reuters) - India must be prepared for a newly-assertive China that wants a foothold in South Asia, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, in a rare open criticism of the Asia giant competing for regional resources and geopolitical clout.

The Times of India quoted the Indian prime minister on Tuesday as saying that China could use the “soft underbelly” of Kashmir and Pakistan “to keep India in low level equilibrium.”

An official at the prime minister’s office, on condition of anonymity, said the newspaper quotes were correct. (Reporting by Alistair Scrutton; Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee)

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